Wedding planning season seems to be in full swing — I’ve had no fewer than 5 friends announce their engagements recently. I’ve also had a few of these lovely ladies hit me up for wedding wine advice, and I thought I’d share my thoughts for them with all of you:
1. Go indie. If possible, buy the wine directly from a store rather than going through a caterer or the event space. You’ll save money and have more control over your choices. Plus that way you can keep the leftovers — and bust out a bottle when you feel like reminiscing about the Big Day. My husband and I got married at a vineyard, and it’s always a special occasion whenever we open a bottle from there.
2. Options are good. Two kinds of white and two kinds of red will ensure that everyone is happy.
3. Say Olé. I often recommend wines from Chile and Argentina for weddings. They tend to have clear, bright fruit flavors that are good on their own as well as with food. You’ll want something your guests will enjoy while they’re waiting in line for the buffet, resting between courses, or taking a break from the dance floor. Also, they’re often crowd-pleasing wines that offer tremendous value. Think Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot from Chile, or Torrontés and Malbec from Argentina.
4. Don’t splurge on the sparklers. Please do not feel the need to spend a ton of cash on the finest champagne you can find. There are plenty of great value sparkling wines out there. If you’re doing the traditional post-dinner champagne toast, at that point in the evening, everyone will have had so much to eat and drink that their critical abilities will be somewhat impaired, shall we say. Of course, if you can afford Cristal for a crowd of 200, go for it! (And send me an invite, while you’re at it.)
5. Share. I have heard stories of wine-loving brides and grooms who served their guests cheap, mediocre wine while making sure their glasses were filled with pricey California Cabs and vintage champagne. This makes my skin crawl. You’ve asked your friends and family to fly in from around the world to be there for your Special Day and you treat them like second-class citizens? Beyond tacky.
6. Don’t stress. There are many difficult decisions you’ll be making around your wedding day. This should not be one of them.